ESPN is already providing support to a local high school in New York, and now they’re bringing the youth demographic Sports coverage via Disney. Yes, ESPN will be providing Sports news on a new “boy-focused, girl-inclusive,” network called Disney XD. Via the New York Times….

On Friday the entertainment giant is introducing Disney XD, a brand aimed at boys ages 6 to 14, a group that market researchers say accounts for about $50 billion in spending worldwide.

At the center of the effort are a cable channel, scheduled to start at 12:01 Friday morning and offering action-adventure programs and youth-oriented sports news (provided via ESPN, which is owned by Disney), and a Web site offering games, music and social networking tools.

“We realized that a true headquarters for boys has been missing from the marketplace,” said Anne Sweeney, co-chairwoman of Disney’s Media Networks division. “There is a huge opportunity here to super-serve boys the way that Disney Channel has girls.”

Disney XD, billed by the company as “boy-focused, girl-inclusive,” will immediately have a huge presence. In the United States, Disney renamed its struggling animation channel, Toon Disney, which is available in about 72 million homes, to Disney XD. It will rename channels it operates around the world as Disney XD by the end of 2009, including Jetix, a children’s entertainment network in Europe that Disney bought last year.

Tapping into the young demographic is by far one of the best groups to get, but is certainly not easy. It took SI years to develop SI for Kids, but if you can succeed in developing a brand, you can move the younger generation through your set of products as they grow older. And when they’ve grown up and are watching PTI, the process can start all over with their children.

Seems like a great idea if it’s done right.

Disney Aims for the Boy Audience With a Cable Channel and a Web Site (NY Times)

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